Kings Take Out Wolves, Lose Marcus Thornton
The Kings beat the Timberwolves despite losing Marcus Thornton to a bruised left calf injury that limited him to just eight minutes. Call it the curse of the five-game week, and as a Thornton owner in six of my seven teams still in the playoffs, I’m very concerned. He previously missed several games with a left calf injury in January, and his five-game week is probably ruined. I own him against Rick Kamla in 30-Deep, which is going to make it very tough for me to win this week and close him out. Terrence Williams started the second half for Thornton and looks like a sneaky deep-league add after going for 12 points, 12 boards, three dimes and two steals in 32 minutes. Give him a look if Thornton’s going to miss time. Jimmer Fredette was another guy who benefitted from Thornton’s injury, finishing with 19 points and three 3-pointers last night, while Tyreke Evans blew up for 23 points, 10 boards and seven assists. Jason Thompson lumbered through his sprained ankle for nine points, one board and one block, as the five-game curse continues, but at least he played (21 minutes). Hopefully he plays tonight against the Suns. Isaiah Thomas came through with 17 points, three 3-pointers and five dimes, and is another guy who should see a boost in Thornton is sidelined for long.
The Wolves lost Luke Ridnour late in Monday’s game due to a sprained ankle, which didn’t look good on TV, and the news that he left the arena on crutches doesn’t make his injury sound any better. Jose Juan Barea was out again with his thigh injury, but is hoping to play on Wednesday. And if it happens, he’s going to be worth adding across the board for as long as Ridnour is out. Nikola Pekovic finally returned from his bum ankles and had 17 points and four rebounds on 7-of-8 shooting. If you showed patience with Pekovic, so far, so good, but the guy isn’t going to hit 7-of-8 every night, either.
Jazz Hold Off Blazers
Devin Harris left Monday’s game with an ankle injury and didn’t return. Jamaal Tinsley started the second half in place of Harris and had three points and six assists, and I’d plan on ignoring all Jazz PGs for now.
J.J. Hickson came back to earth on Monday with just four points and five rebounds on 2-of-8 shooting, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have a good game next time out. He obviously struggled while dealing with Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors. Wesley Matthews blew up for a season-high 33 points and five 3-pointers in the loss, and is only helped by the fact that Jamal Crawford was a late scratch with a sore right knee. Raymond Felton stayed relevant for the Blazers with four points, nine rebounds and eight assists, while Nicolas Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge both played well in the loss.
Clips Down Mavs
Randy Foye exploded to hit eight 3-pointers for the Clippers on Monday to finish with 28 points on 10-of-19 shooting, and added three boards and two steals. He’s been inconsistent, but is heating up at the right time, so give him a look in all leagues.
The Mavs got seven points out of Roddy Beaubois and six points out of starter Delonte West, and both players deserve a close eye with news that Jason Kidd is out for the week with a groin injury. I’d still rather own a guy like Kemba Walker or Shannon Brown instead.
Grizzlies Stop Thunder
The Grizzlies beat the Thunder despite getting just 10 points and three boards on 2-of-9 shooting from Zach Randolph, while starter Marreese Speights had nine points and 13 boards in the win. Speights is a decent option this week and next, with five games in each. Tony Allen was strong with 15 points, eight boards and a steal, while O.J. Mayo had 22 points and a full stat line while filling in for Mike Conley at point guard for most of the night. Allen and Mayo are must-own players with the Grizzlies going 5-5 this week and next.
Rockets Take Bulls
Marcus Camby started for the Rockets at center as expected, limiting Samuel Dalembert to just five minutes on Monday. Camby had 12 points and 11 boards, meaning Dalembert should be dropped for Camby across the board. Chandler Parsons struggled while Chase Budinger played fairly well, but I’d stick with Parsons for now. Goran Dragic had another big game and was as strong a three-game play as I can imagine this week.
C.J. Watson started at point guard for the Bulls again, but hit just 1-of-7 shots for two points in 25 minutes. It’s time to drop him and move on, especially with the Bulls playing just three games this week and next. John Lucas looks like a better fantasy play, but with all the injuries out there, you can probably do better. Richard Hamilton finally returned from his shoulder injury, but had just six points on 2-of-7 shooting. Again, you can do better than Hamilton.
Bucks Beat Wiz
Ekpe Udoh came off the bench for the Bucks and blew up for 15 points, eight rebounds and five dimes last night, as Drew Gooden disappeared in a win over the Wizards. I dropped Gooden for Jose Juan Barea in one league this morning, as it appears his run could be over with Udoh coming on.
Jan Vesely started again for the Wizards and had 14 points, seven boards, a steal and a block, and could be a sneaky add with Trevor Booker and Nene hurting. Kevin Seraphin had another nice game with 15 points and three rebounds, and is another player who should be able to help fantasy owners the rest of the way, with Booker and Nene struggling with plantar fasciitis.